Man on trial for brutal Calif. family attack - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Man on trial for brutal Calif. family attack

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SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — Opening statements could begin this week in the trial of a man charged with the fiery slaughter of his ex-girlfriend's father and sister in an ill-conceived plan to reunite with her.

Jury selection is underway and expected to resume Tuesday in the case against Iftekhar Murtaza for the 2007 attack on the family of his ex-girlfriend Shayona Dhanak.

If convicted, he could face the death penalty.

Prosecutors say Murtaza killed Dhanak's father and sister, assaulted her mother and burned the family's Anaheim Hills home after the college freshman broke up with him citing religious differences between her devout Hindu family and his Muslim faith.

Two of Murtaza's friends have been convicted in the killings. One was sentenced to life in prison. The other is set to be sentenced Oct. 25.

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